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Solomon's Seal

Polygonatum multiflorum

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Asparagaceae (Asparagus)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
90 centimetres tall
Gardens, meadows, woodland.

White, 6 petals
Dull white bell-shaped flowers that are tipped green.
Green berries, later turning red then black by autumn.
Light green, oval, pointed leaves with prominent parallel veins. The leaves are positioned alternately along the stems and reach 12cm in length.
Other Names:
Common Solomon's Seal, David's Harp, Eurasian Solomon's Seal, Ladder-to-Heaven, Many-flowered Solomon's-seal.
Frequency (UK):
Occasionally seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Polygonatum multiflorum, also known as Solomon's seal or many-flowered Solomon's seal, is a perennial herb in the family Asparagaceae. It is native to Asia and Europe and can be found in woodlands, along streams and in shaded areas. The plant grows to a height of 50-90 cm with arching stems that bear alternate, lance-shaped leaves. The flowers are small, greenish-white and hang in drooping clusters along the stem, followed by blue-black berries. The rootstock of the plant is sometimes used for medicinal purposes. The plant is also cultivated as an ornamental for its attractive foliage and flowers. The rhizomes of the plant are also used in traditional Chinese medicine.


Solomon's Seal, also known as Polygonatum multiflorum, is a beautiful plant that belongs to the family Asparagaceae. This herbaceous perennial is native to Europe and Asia, and it is a popular garden plant due to its delicate beauty and low maintenance requirements.

Appearance and Characteristics: Solomon's Seal grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Its stems are upright and arch gracefully as they grow taller. The leaves are oval-shaped and bright green, and they grow in pairs on the stem. The plant blooms in late spring to early summer, producing small, bell-shaped flowers that hang down from the underside of the stem. The flowers are typically white, although they can also be yellow or greenish in color. After flowering, the plant produces small blue-black berries that are edible but not widely consumed.

Growing Conditions: Solomon's Seal is a hardy plant that can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions. It prefers partial shade to full shade and moist, well-drained soil. The plant can grow in a variety of soil types, including sandy, loamy, and clay soils. It is also drought-tolerant and can survive in dry conditions, although it prefers consistent moisture. Solomon's Seal can be propagated by division, seed, or root cuttings. Division is the most common method and is usually done in the spring or fall.

Medicinal Uses: Solomon's Seal has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine and Native American medicine. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including joint pain, muscle soreness, and skin irritations. The plant contains saponins, which are compounds that may help reduce inflammation and swelling.

Culinary Uses: Solomon's Seal berries are edible and have a slightly sweet flavor. They can be eaten raw or cooked and are often used in jams, jellies, and pies. The young shoots of the plant are also edible and can be cooked like asparagus or used in salads.

Solomon's Seal is a beautiful and versatile plant that can add interest and texture to any garden. Its low maintenance requirements make it a great choice for beginner gardeners, while its medicinal and culinary uses make it a valuable addition to any herbalist's or chef's toolkit.

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In addition to its medicinal and culinary uses, Solomon's Seal has also been used for its ornamental value in landscaping and gardens. Its arching stems and delicate white flowers make it a popular choice for shady borders, woodland gardens, and naturalized areas. The plant can be grown in masses or as a solitary specimen and pairs well with other shade-loving plants such as ferns, hostas, and astilbes.

Aside from its traditional uses, modern research has also shown that Solomon's Seal may have potential therapeutic benefits for a range of conditions. For example, studies have suggested that the plant may have anti-tumor properties and may be useful in the treatment of certain types of cancer. Additionally, Solomon's Seal may have neuroprotective effects and could be beneficial in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

However, it's important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the potential health benefits of Solomon's Seal, and it should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

In terms of cultivation, Solomon's Seal is a hardy and easy-to-grow plant that is suitable for a range of growing conditions. It can be grown from seed or propagated through root cuttings, and it thrives in moist, well-drained soil in partial to full shade. The plant is also relatively pest and disease-resistant, although it may be susceptible to slug damage in damp conditions.

Solomon's Seal is a fascinating and versatile plant that has a long history of use and a range of potential benefits. Whether you're looking to add a touch of beauty to your garden, explore its culinary uses, or explore its medicinal properties, this plant is a fascinating and worthwhile addition to any landscape or herb garden.

One interesting feature of Solomon's Seal is its unique stem structure. The stem of the plant is made up of a series of nodes, or points where leaves emerge, that are connected by a hollow section of stem known as a "stem internode." The internodes are filled with a gel-like substance that provides structural support and helps the stem to flex and bend as it grows taller. This flexibility makes the plant well-suited for windy or stormy conditions, as it is less likely to snap or break under pressure.

Another fascinating aspect of Solomon's Seal is its cultural significance in folklore and mythology. The plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine and herbalism, and it was believed to have magical properties that could protect against evil spirits and bring good luck. In European folklore, the plant was associated with King Solomon, who was said to have used the plant to seal away demons and other malevolent forces. The plant's distinctive node structure was believed to symbolize the king's wisdom and the connection between heaven and earth.

In conclusion, Solomon's Seal is a fascinating and versatile plant that has captured the imaginations of gardeners, herbalists, and storytellers for centuries. Whether you're drawn to its beauty, its potential health benefits, or its cultural significance, this plant is sure to add interest and depth to any landscape or herb garden. With its hardiness, low maintenance requirements, and unique stem structure, Solomon's Seal is a great choice for anyone looking to add a touch of magic and beauty to their garden.


Solomon's Seal filmed in Adlington, Lancashire on the 6th May 2023.


Music credits
Easy Lemon 60 Second by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

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